Point of Contact = Squadron Duty Officer (SDO). See FAQ/Research/Contact link under [SA] in the menu.
This Skyhawk Association website page is posthumously dedicated to The Fallen of VMA-121:
VMF-121 Baby Huey - 1951
Provided by John Gabbard
VMF-121 - 1951
Provided by John Gabbard
VMA-121 Wolfraiders 1950-1953
Provided by John Gabbard
VMA-121 Green Knights Korea
Courtesy of John Resnowski
VMA-121 Green Knights
VMA-121 Green Knights Vietnam ’67/’68
VMA(AW)-121 Green Knights
VMA(AW)-121 Green Knights 1958-1959
Courtesy of William "Gunny" Ravgiala
VMFA(AW)-121 Green Knights
VMFA(AW)-121 Bombin' Betty
VMFA-121 Green Knights
VMFA-121 Green Knights F-35
The nuke theme was part of the original competition for the Squadron patch but never made the cut. 121 was the first Squadron, 1958-59, to qual. with the nuke delivery system and that was an interesting tour prior to the move to conventional weapons.
John Resnowski patch, Green Knights - 1960s
Bill "Jigger" Egen
W. L. "Moose" Tranor, Colonel, USMC (Ret.)
Gunny Rav USMC (Ret.) [William D. Ravgiala, Jr.]
James A. Coker
Green Knights - VK
24 JUN 1941 - VMF-121 Established
1969- - - - - Re-designated VMA(AW)-121
08 DEC 1989 - Re-designated VMFA(AW)-121
After WWII: - - - NAS Glenview, IL.
1951: - - - - - - MCAS El Toro, CA.
1957: - - - - - - MCAS El Toro, CA.
1969: - - - - - - MCAS Cherry Point, NC.
AUG 1994: - - - - MCAS Miramar, CA.
SEP 2012: - - - - MCAS Yuma, AZ
1941: - - - - - - F4F Wildcats
194x: - - - - - - F4U Corsairs
194x: - - - - - - F8F Bearcats
194x: - - - - - - AD Skyraiders
1957: - - - - - - F9F-8B Couger
10 October 1958 - Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk *
12 April 1961 - - Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk *
05 April 1965- - - Douglas A4D-5 (A-4E) Skyhawk *
1969: - - - - - - A-6A Intruder
1989: - - - - - - F/A-18D Hornet
2012: - - - - - - F-35B
* November 30, 1962
The A4D-2 designation changed to A-4B
The A4D-2N designation changed to A-4C
The A4D-5 designation changed to A-4E
For A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit see lower in this page:
1941 - - - - - - - - - - - - 4x: - - Western Pacific
01 DEC 1966 to 03 JUN 1967 - - - - - Assigned to MAG-12, Chu Lai, Vietnam
04 JUN 1967 to 04 SEP 1967 - - - - - Redeployed to Iwakuni Japan
05 SEP 1967 to 31 JAN 1969 - - - - - Assigned to MAG-12, Chu Lai, Vietnam
1941-4x - - - - - - - Western Pacific WWII
1951 to 1957: - - - - Pyongtaek, ROK
1958: - - - - - - - - NAS Cecil Field
1959 to 1960: - - - - WestPac
19 Sep 1960 to 27 May 1961: - - CVW-15 -- CVA-43 - - WestPac
DEC 1966 to JUN 1967 - Chu Lai, Vietnam
JUN 1967 to SEP 1967 - MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
SEP 1967 to JAN 1969 - Chu Lai, Vietnam
199x: - - - - - - - - Desert Storm
24 JUN 1941: - - Major S.S. JACK
01 MAR 1942: - - Captain L.K. DAVIS
17 DEC 1942: - - 1st Lt. W.F. WILSON
13 MAR 1943: - - Major D.K. YOST
27 MAR 1943: - - Major J.N. RENNER
15 MAY 1943: - - Captain R.E. BRUCE
24 AUG 1943: - - 1st Lt. H.O. DEFRIES
25 OCT 1943: - - Captain O.B. NELSON
02 DEC 1943: - - Major W.J. MEYER
26 MAY 1945: - - Major C.B. WELSH
13 JUN 1945: - - Major R. TUCKER
01 AUG 1945: - - 1st Lt. R.M. LOUGHERY
01 JUL 1946: - - Major R.S. INGRAM
20 JAN 1948: - - Major R.L. BRYSON
20 APR 1951: - - Lt.Col. A.N. GORDON
19 NOV 1951: - - Major F.P. BARKER
01 DEC 1951: - - Lt. Col. P.B. MAY
15 MAR 1952: - - Lt. Col. W.A. HOUSTON
20 JUN 1952: - - Lt. Col. P.L. CRAWFORD
11 SEP 1952: - - Lt. Col. W.M. CARGILL
07 DEC 1952: - - Lt. Col. R.M. GURZENGA
01 MAR 1953: - - Lt. Col. J.E. HUGHES
21 APR 1953: - - Major R.L. BRAUN
16 JUN 1953: - - Lt. Col. H.B. PENNE
01 JAN 1954: - - Lt. Col. M.E. FLATER
31 MAR 1954: - - Lt. Col. V.H. HUDGINS
04 JUL 1954: - - Major E.K. GRISWOLD
23 JUL 1954: - - Lt. Col. L.E. BONISKE
13 JUN 1955: - - Lt. Col. W.H. RANKIN
01 MAY 1956: - - Lt. Col. E.J. DOYLE
01 SEP 1956: - - Major P.C. DELONG
23 SEP 1956: - - Lt. Col. E.J. DOYLE
02 OCT 1956: - - Major P.C. DELONG
12 OCT 1956: - - Major L.F. CHILDERS
02 DEC 1956: - - Major R.C. DELONG
22 APR 1957: - - Lt. Col. E.W KELLY
11 JUL 1957: - - Major W.D. WILCOX
16 NOV 1957: - - Lt. Col. W.G. JOHNSON
23 SEP 1958: - - Major J.E. DAVIS
10 OCT 1958: - - Lt. Col. T.J. SAXON JR
28 MAY 1960: - - Lt. Col. W.L. TRAYNOR
05 APR 1961: - - Lt. Col. R.E. NELSON
10 APR 1961: - - Lt. Col. R.F. SHIELDS
17 APR 1962: - - Lt. Col. L.M. MCKLESON
19 APR 1963: - - Lt. Col. W.E. SPARLING
00 MAR 1965: - - Lt. Col. H.G. ROBINSON
13 MAY 1966: - - Lt. Col. D.R. STIVER
17 MAR 1967: - - Major F.G. DAWSON (acting)
31 MAR 1967: - - Lt. Col. J.H. MCGEE
25 SEP 1967: - - Lt. Col. R.J. KERN
11 MAR 1968: - - Lt. Col. W.D. SHIPPEN
16 OCT 1968: - - Lt. Col. D.A. LERPS
14 FEB 1969: - - Lt. Col. E.E. JACOBSON JR.
03 JUN 1970: - - Lt. Col. T.P BAKER
11 JUN 1971: - - Lt. Col. E.A. BIRZER
14 JUN 1972: - - Lt. Col. M.T. FOUNTAIN JR.
13 JUN 1973: - - Major G.A. DAVIS
25 JUL 1974: - - Lt. Col. B.G. RUTLEDGE
05 AUG 1975: - - Lt. Col. E.P. CARROLL
18 NOV 1976: - - Lt. Col. J.P. FAULKNER
12 JUN 1978: - - Major W.T. ADAMS
31 AUG 1979: - - Lt. Col. N.E. EBLERT
25 NOV 1980: - - Lt. Col. J.M. WAGNER
15 APR 1982: - - Lt. Col. J.W. RIPPY
21 JUN 1983: - - Lt. Col. S.M. DAY
26 OCT 1984: - - Lt. Col. W.R. MCPHERSON
29 JUL 1986: - - Lt. Col. N.J. WESTON
01 APR 1988: - - Lt. Col. P.G. JACOBS
08 DEC 1989: - - Lt. Col. G.E. ADCOCK
24 SEP 1990: - - Lt. Col. S.F. MUGG
24 JAN 1992: - - Lt. Col. M.R. HUMBERD
01 JUL 1993: - - Lt. Col. D.J. BORJE
16 NOV 1994: - - Lt. Col. P.R. MORIARTY
29 MAR 1996: - - Lt. Col. W.C. MACAK
19 SEP 1997: - - Lt. Col. R.A. SIEGEL
19 MAY 1999: - - Lt. Col. M.L. SAWYERS
20 APR 2001: - - Lt. Col. D.C. MYERS
11 OCT 2002: - - Lt. Col. M. SHIHADEH
25 JUN 2004: - - Lt. Col. F.A. RICHIE
27 JAN 2006: - - Lt. Col. J.A. CRAF
07 DEC 2007: - - Lt. Col. M.T. PALMER
02 NOV 2010: - - Lt. Col. M. R. WATERMAN
28 SEP 2012: - - Lt. Col. J. B. SCOTT
?? SEP 2013: - - Lt, Col. S.E. GILLETTE
CNO Safety Award
Commandant's Efficiency Trophy
No further info.
WWII: Green Knights participated in combat operations as charter members of the "Cactus Air Force" in the Battle of Guadalcanal. The squadron flew from bases at Espirito Santo Island, Turtle Bay, Bougainville, and Emirau. The Squadron produced 14 Fighter Aces including Major Joseph J. Foss (Medal of Honor).
After WWII: Upon moving to NAS Glenview, IL, the unit was changed to VMA-121.
1958: First Marine squadron to be fully qualified in special weapons delivery.
First Marine squadron to win both the CNO Safety Award and the Commandant's Efficiency Trophy.
30 April 1959: Capt. Edward J. Kiely, 31, & 2nd Lt. Richard F. Fisher, 22, were killed after an apparent collision in overcast skies Thursday. Both planes (A4D-2 BuNo 142856 & 142927) were coming in for a landing when the radar contact was lost and the radar operator heard an explosion and saw flames SW of MCAS El Toro. The pilots were returning from Hill AFB, UT. The Salt Lake Tribune, Friday, May 1, 1959. Capt. Edward J. Kiely & 2nd Lt. Richard F. Fisher perished attempting an instrument landing United States Armed Forces, Pacific Stars & Stripes, Tuesday, May 4, 1959.
I joined VMA-121 about Nov. of 1958 at El Toro . We were there for about (1) year and rotated to Iwakuni. We rotated back to the US from the Coral Sea about April of 1961. We lost two pilots in the US prior to going to Japan , Capt. Kiely and Lt. Fisher. It is my understanding they were making a “GCA” approach into El Toro at night in a dense fog. I was on duty that night. As I recall, Capt. Kiely was flying lead and Lt. Fisher was flying off his left wing when they went in. I was one of two who had guard duty at the crash site after pilot recovery. I was one of three parachute riggers with the squadron. Gunny Giffin, Cpl. Martin and myself Cpl. Branner. Comments From: Ken Branner.
Deployed WestPac 1959 - 1960:
1960/1961: Embarked on USS Ticonderoga, USS Ranger, and USS Coral Sea.
October 17, 1960: Capt. Pete Maitland, VMA-121, BuNo 145044, was lost from the Coral Sea due to a bad cat shot. He was loaded with 9,400 lb. of fuel and got a stroke set at ,7300 lb. From Bill Egen. A memorial service will be held at St. John's Church for Peter Maitland who was killed in a plane crash in Japan. Fitchburg (MA) Sentinel, Thursday, October 20, 1960. 1438 A4D BuNo 145044 of VMA-121 with pilot Captain Peter R. Maitland crashed into the sea following launch from the port catapult. Aircraft struck the water about 2 deg. on the port bow and 150 yards ahead of the ship. CO ordered right standard rudder followed by left full rudder to cause the scene of impact to pass down our port side. The aircraft sank at Latitude 34-49.9N, Longitude 140-12E, in 1500 fathoms of water. USS Tucker (DD-784) ordered to conduct search for pilot. The rescue destroyer at the crash scene in three (3) minutes and reported an oil slick in the water. No pilot visible. 1615 USS Tucker stopped searching for the downed pilot and rejoined the formation assuming plane guard station. 1 modified. USS Coral Sea deck log, Monday, 17 October 1960.
January 11, 1961: 1st Lt. Luis E. Elder is missing and presumed dead after he radioed that he had mechanical difficulties and was ejecting about 10 miles astern and 40 miles southeast of Hachijo Island just as the sun was setting. His chaff obscured the carrier radar screen, and the surface search was unsuccessful. From Fred Shaffer. 1811 1st LT L.E. Elder, USMC, abandoned A4D-2 BUAER No. 142924, bearing 320, distant 15 miles. 1832 USS Saint Paul (CA 73) and USS Tucker (DDR-875) proceeded to point 10 miles east of Datum, to search westward. 1851 USS Rupertus (DD-851) detached to search astern and investigate radar contact. 1922 Rupertus discontinued search astern, results negative. 2105 Rupertus detached to investigate red light off her port beam. 2110 Rupertus rejoined the formation, results of investigation negative. 2200 Search a/c R4D BuNo 9127, joined the search at Datum. USS Coral Sea deck log, Wednesday, 11 January 1961. 00-04 (hours) Steaming off the Bonin Islands in company with TG77.6, composed of USS Saint Paul (CA-73), COMSEVENTHFLT embarked, and USS Rupertus (DD-851), DESDIV 32 embarked, USS Mason (DD-852) and the USS Tucker (DDR-875) ... while conducting search for LT L.E. Elder, USMC, who abandoned his A4D in this vicinity. 0650 Rupertus detached to investigate object in water. 0720 Rupertus returning to station, results of search negative. 0810 Commanding Officer St Paul assumed OTC of destroyers to continue search. 1715 Terminated search for 1st LT Elder. USS Coral Sea deck log, Wednesday, 12 January 1961. U.S. Navy ships and planes Thursday resumed search for a pilot who ejected from his A4D Skyhawk before it plunged into the Pacific Ocean late Wednesday about 220 miles south of Tokyo. The Japanese JMSDF also sent a ship to join in the search. The plane was returning to the Coral Sea from NAS Atsugi when it went down near Hachijo Island. Pacific Stars & Stripes, Thursday, January 12, 1961. A Marine Corps pilot killed last week has been identified as 1st Lt. Luis E. Elder, Colorado Spring, CO, VMA-121, USS Coral Sea who was lost at sea Wednesday after ejecting from his A4D Skyhawk 180 miles south of Tokyo. Pacific Stars & Stripes, Friday, January 13, 1961. A vast sea search for a Marine pilot who ejected from his disabled plane Wednesday was discontinued Thursday after searchers reported no trace of the pilot or plane. The missing pilot, VMA-121, USS Coral Sea, was on a routine flight when he reported mechanical difficulty is presumed dead. He radioed that he was ejecting about 40 miles SE of Hachijo Island about 260 miles south of Tokyo. Pacific Stars & Stripes, Sunday, January 15, 1961.
We lost two on the USS Coral Sea. Pete Maitland got a cold cat into the water during the carrier quals of VMA 324. He was on a maint. hop with 9400 # of fuel, The ship was launching 324 with no more than 7300#. They launched him at the lower weight and put him in the drink. The second was Lou Elder in VK-7. He and Sam Newlon were coming back from Iwakuni at night. They were about 9 miles from the Coral Sea when Lou called that 'it is running rough, I've got to leave it' Sam dropped back to help but never saw Lou's plane again. R.D. Rudy
Two VMA-121 pilots were lost off the USS Coral Sea during training. Capt. Maitland was lost to a bad cat shot and Lt. Elder who never returned to the ship same time period. I received the information via snail mail in the form of emails thru the director of the Marine Corps University and others. I was a plane captain and on deck when Capt. Maitland was lost. Gunny Rav USMC (Ret.)
Regarding Pete Maitland. VMA-121 had been on Coral Sea for a while before us and all CQ'ED. We were qualifying under way and our A/C with tanks on were fueled with 5400 lbs. Maitland was launching for a test hop with 9400 lbs. Although we put weight on nose gear door, the guy who set the weight for launch didn't change setting for Pete and he didn't ever have enough speed to fly and crashed into sea ahead of ship. Hugh F. "Andy" Anderson.
July 19, 1962: 1st Lt. James Sauer in A-4C BuNo 148560 (VK-13) ran off the end of the runway and into the perimeter fence. He walked away and was embarrassed by the incident. Jim had to run from fire trucks dragging pieces of wire and fence at MCAS El Toro. The assumption was that the power handle was not fully retarded, and the thrust was too much for the brakes.
November 1, 1962: Maj. William W. Bryant, parachuted to safety Thursday shortly before his disabled A4D attack bomber (BuNo 148561) crashed about 8 miles NW of MCAS Yuma. Marine officers said Bryant, who flew with VMA-121, was normally stationed at MCAS El Toro but was deployed with his squadron to MCAS Yuma. The Redlands Daily Sun, Friday, 02 November 1962. On November 1st Charles U. Espino was an eyewitness when an A4D Skyhawk crashed about 2 miles from his home. On November 25th Espino went to the crash site to search for some of the missing aircraft parts and found the ejection seat pan and para-raft. The Sun, Thursday, November 29, 1962.
Maj. William W. Bryant was the instructor pilot chasing Garrett McClanahan on a FAM flight on a VMA-121 deployment to MCAS Yuma. During the flight Maj. Bryant reported an engine fire and made a controlled ejection from A4D-2N Skyhawk BuNo 148561. The locals picked up MAJ Bryant who was fine and returned to duty. The Skyhawk glided into the All American irrigation canal north of Yuma and needed to be hoisted out of the water.
November 27, 1962: Capt. John MacDonald Moore was killed when his VMA-121 A4D Skyraider (sic) (BuNo 147713) from El Toro crashed and burned near Palatka, FL Tuesday night. The squadron has been stationed temporarily at Cecil Field near Jacksonville. Independent, Long Beach, CA, Wednesday, November 28, 1962. Aviator's name from D. Johnson. Capt. Moore was TAD to Cecil Field during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Capt Moore is buried in Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA.
December 7, 1963: Maj. Thomas S. Oden of VMA-121 deployed from MCAS El Toro to MCAS Yuma was killed when his A-4 Skyhawk (BuNo 147813) crashed 35 miles SSW of Gila Bend, AZ, on the gunnery range at 10:48 a.m. Saturday. The Yuma Sun, Sunday, December 8, and Tuesday, December 10, 1963.
1964-65: VMA-121 in Japan, VK-23 in-flight. Lynne Morrell
April 27, 1966: Capt. W. A. Wilson ejected successfully when his A-4E Skyhawk BuNo 151094, deployed to MCAS Yuma from El Toro, CA, crashed and burned in the desert 21 miles NE of El Centro, CA. Yuma, AZ, The Sun, Thursday, April 28, 1966.
July of 1966: Replaced VMA-211 at Chu Lai, Vietnam per Sgt. Tom Pulliam. After six months of combat operations, the Squadron rotated back to Iwakuni, Japan and Naha Air Base, Okinawa before returning to Chu-Lai for another combat tour in 1968.
1967?: "I actually met Joe Foss back in DC many years ago. When I was just a wee lad I was given an old canvas bag (gas mask) that many years later I found out was from Joe Foss. He remembered giving the bag as a gift and we got a laugh out of it. It served in Vietnam with me and many other sojurns around the World. I still have that bag today and it still serves as my camera bag altough it’s a little worse for the wear… s/f -Dale Creek"
3 May 1967: A-4E BuNo 152055 was lost in a combat mid-flight refueling accident - Sieglinger survived."
1968 Chu Lai, Vietnam Statistics: Sorties flown = 18,690; Hours flown = 21,862.5; Ordanance delivered = 24,277 tons; * data does not include 1-15 OCT 68.
March 30, 1968: As a direct result of his courage: UNGAR, THOMAS D.
25 November 1966: Capt Claude Nathanial Williams was part of an advanced party from VMA-121 in Iwakuni, Japan that was sent to Chu Lai ahead of the squadrons official arrival on 1 Dec 1966. Capt Williams was killed in an operational accident while attempting to land VMA-223 A-4E 151123 at 0505 (5:05AM) on 25 Nov ’66. Chu Lai base weather (rain, fog and 800-2~000 foot overcast skies) caused cancellation of eight F-4 and 96 A-4 sorties. Winds were 280 degrees at 8-10 knots shifting to 050-090 degrees with gusts to 19 knots.
06 January 1967: Capt. M.F. Adams ejected and was rescued by a Marine helicopter a few miles north of the target when his Skyhawk (BuNo 150036) was hit in the stbd fuselage by small arms fire during a strike on enemy troop near Ha Tan.
14 January 1967: Capt. C.R. Fye ejected close to the target when his Skyhawk (BuNo 150106) was hit by ground fire during a strike near Ha Tan causing the starboard wing to burn. He was rescued by a USMC helicopter.
27 February 1967: Maj. Harold Joseph Alwan was MIA, possibly near Quang Ngai. After completing a flight test (BuNo 152051) he was asked to escort a formation of USMC helicopters and at some stage during the mission his aircraft disappeared.
11 May 1967: Capt. G.R. Romano ejected and was rescued by an Army helicopter after his Skyhawk (BuNo 150011) was hit by automatic weapons fire during napalm attack on a VC force 15 miles SW of Chu Lai.
30 May 1967: 1st Lt. Michael Walter Thoennes was killed when his Skyhawk (BuNo 150032) was hit by automatic weapons fire during an attack on structures near Hiep Duc, 20 miles west of Tam Ky. He was just pulling out of his dive when he was hit at about 500 feet and crashed.
28 August 1967: Maj. Charles Franklin Wallace (VMA-121) was killed when his Skyhawk (VMA-211 BuNo 150038) crashed just off the coast when he was hit by AAA two miles N of the DMZ while attacking a AAA site. He was flying with VMA-211 as part of VMA-121 advanced party.
05 May 1968: 1st Lt. T. M. "Mike" Aiton ejected safely when his aircraft (BuNo 151105) was hit by 50 cal. ground fire while making his third bombing pass on NVA troops entrenched in a tree line near Ba Long. He ejected close to the target and was rescued by a USMC helicopter.
09 May 1968: Maj. L.D. Tyrell ejected safely (BuNo 152092) after sustaining damage during a close support mission. He tried to reach Da Nang but was forced to eject over the sea near Monkey Mountain.
09 June 1968: (BuNo 151080) 1st Lt. Walter Roy Schmidt POW, lost to ground fire while attacking an NVA base camp. After 1st Lt. Schmidt's aircraft was struck by ground fire his aircraft continued to the northwest and crashed in the densely forested mountains approximately 5 miles NW of the northern edge of the A Shau Valley, 2 miles NE of the South Vietnamese/Lao border and the same distance SW of a primary road leading from the Ho Chi Minh Trail. He was seen to eject from his crippled Skyhawk and descend safely to the ground. Other pilots saw his parachute caught in trees and were able to immediately establish voice contact with him. He reported to the other pilots that he sustained a broken leg while ejecting and was unable to move. SAR aircraft were immediately called to pick up the downed pilot, and as they arrived on site, NVA troops were observed approaching Walter Schmidt's position. USCG Lt. Jack C. Rittichier, pilot; USAF Capt. Richard C. Yeend, Jr., Co-pilot; SSgt. Elmer L. Holden, flight engineer; and Sgt. James D. Locker, Pararescueman; comprised the crew of a HH-3E Sea King s/n 67-14710, call sign "Jolly Green 23," that was assigned to the SAR mission to rescue 1st Lt. Schmidt. As the Jolly Green Giant hovered near the downed pilot, it was struck by heavy enemy ground fire and was seen to fall to the ground in flames and disintegrate by the onsite Forward Air Controller (FAC.) In April 1991 the US government released a list of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action who were known to be alive in enemy hands and for whom there is no evidence that he or she died in captivity. This list, commonly referred to today as the USG's "Last Known Alive" list, includes 1st Lt. Schmidt. From Task Force Omega.
22 June 1968: Maj. J.D. Ingraham was Wounded In Action, was able to land at Danang.
27 July 1968: Maj. Donald Bruce Campbell was killed when his aircraft (BuNo 151143.) flew into the ground during a napalm run during a LZ preparation near Ha Tan, 20 miles SW Da Nang.
26 September 1968: Capt. Dale Alan Luster KIA during Operation Wheeler Wallowa near Tam Ky in the Quang Ngai province. Dale made several runs dropping his ordnance within 30 meters of the friendly forces. On one of these runs, just at ordnance release, his wingman, Ray Rauenhorst, saw his aircraft (BuNo 150094) roll sharply to the left and impact the ground in a nose low attitude, having been hit by intense hostile fire. There was no evidence of ejection.
01 October 1968: 1st Lt. Robert Coop (BuNo 151159) aborted take-off and his hook skipped the MOREST wire and he ran off runway. The nose gear collapsed and the center line fuel tank ruptured and burst into flames. The pilot egressed through the fire with burns and evacuated by the SAR chopper. From Mark Williams.
San Mateo, CA, The Times, October 2, 1968
1959 USNS Breton: Plane Captain William Ravgiala onboard the USNS Breton on their way to Iwakuni.
Squadron logo sign made by Ron Hamric. Provided by Ron Hamric.
1961: BuNo.148497 somewhere over Southern California in 1961 Photo by Maintenance Officer Capt. Peterson during a 2 ship flight. Provided by Ron Hamric.
26JUN61: MCAS El Toro on 6-26-61, flight of four VMA-121 A4D-2N (A-4C). BuNo.148474 is closest, 148475 top of 74, 1484x2 is leading and 14843x is trailing. Provided by Ron Hamric.
1961-62: Squadron Photo at NAS Fallon, Nevada.
1961-62: Squadron Photo at MCAS Yuma, Arizona. 1961-62 time period, photo from Ron Hamric.
1962: USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) and CVG-15 (NL) aircraft sail under the Golden Gate bridge 1961-1962. The Air Group squadrons/aircraft were VF-151 Vigilantes (F3H-2 Demon), VA-152 Fighting Aces (AD-6 Skyraider), VA-153 Blue Tail Flies (A4D-2 Skyhawk), VF-154 Black Knights (F8U-1E Crusader), VA-155 Silver Foxes (A4D-2 Skyhawk), VMA-324 Devildogs (A4D-2 Skyhawk), VMA-121 Green Knights (A4D-2 Skyhawk), VAH-2 (A3D-2 Skywarrior), VFP-61 Det. D (F8U-1P Crusader), VAW-13 Zappers Det. D (WF-2 Tracer), HU-1 Pacific Fleet Angels Det. D (HUP-2 Retriever).
1963-65: 1963-1965 Cruise book. Dr. Lynn "MO" Morrell.
Circa 1964: Circa 1964: BuNo 147752 VK-12 on the ramp with VK-11. William D. Ravgiala, Jr.
Japan: VK-23 BuNo.145088 Somewhere in Japan. "Was going through some old slides from '121 in 1964-5 in Iwakuni. I gave my Minolta to one of our pilots and asked if he would take some pics for me. Many of these pics were in the yearbook --- this one is my favorite." MO - Paraloft. Provided by Dr. Lynn Morrell.
El Toro: VMA-121 Flight Line at MCAS EL Toro. BuNo.147819 and other A4D-2N Scooters. Provided by Ron Hamric.
1966-67: 1966-67 Cruise book. Bill Egan.
23SEP68: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 152099. A-4E BuNo. 152099, side number VK 18, of VMA-121 landing at Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan on September 23, 1968. United States Ship America departed Yokosuka for the Tonkin Gulf combat station. This Skyhawk landed after America's planes took off from Atsugi to return to the America. Photograph by Masaaki Hayakawa.
Cubi Point: VMA-121 at Cubi Point. Bill Ravgiala in Subic Bay - back row second from top left. Provided by W.D. (Bill) Ravgiala, Jr. GYSgt. USMC (Ret.)
1967-68: 1967-68 Cruise book. Jay Halstead.
1968:A-4E Skyhawk BuNo 151159, VK-2, Hot Pad load awaiting takeoff at Chu Lai. We Flew many of these exact loads during the siege at Khe Sanh.
19JAN69: BuNo A-4C 147669 of VMA(AW)121 at MCAS Cherry Point comes home with firewood. Dale Stump was the pilot, from Mark Williams and Gary Verver.
Circa late 1980s: Bill Ravgiala in the late 80s as UH-1E Gunner. Bill Ravgiala served with VMA-121 1958-62 with service aboard the Ticonderoga, Ranger and Coral Sea. VMA-121 participated in the US Navy Marine Team Flying Brothers 1960. Provided by W.D. (Bill) Ravgiala, Jr. GYSgt. USMC (Ret.)
No photos yet.
A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to VMA-121.